EMG 57 vs EMG 81 comparison (high gain)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by ThomasVB, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    They sound like total ass. Fizzy over priced garbage.

    Does that help?
     
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  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    He said the Daemonums, not the Fluence Moderns.


    :p
     
  3. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for trying. Really appreciate
     
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  4. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    They do sound better though. At least to my ears. But the entire retro active series is killer and imo are the best active pick ups on the market.
     
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  5. jonsick

    jonsick SS.org Regular

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    Yep, I have no idea where that notion came from. I did hear that too that if your guitar doesn't sound right, fitting EMGs would somehow replace the inerrant sound of the guitar.

    The thing is that isn't true at all. For example, I have three ESP SV Standard guitars, all three with EMG 81/85 sets. All three sound different. I could excuse one as it's a revision 2 SV, the other two are Revision 1 SV Standards. There's not a whole lot of difference, the revision 2's cutaway is slightly deeper, the revision 2 also uses the bushings and inserts for the bridge, the revision 1 both have the wood screws, other than that there's not much else physically different.

    But either way, all three sound different despite the same pickups.

    Overall I've always liked what the EMG 81/85 set has done for me so it's my go-to set for almost everything. It doesn't always happen how I want though, and sometimes you may just want a different flavour. I have a couple of guitars with passives and they're great, no real need to change them.
     
  6. jonsick

    jonsick SS.org Regular

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    Yep. I'm a full advocate of wood makes the biggest difference to guitar tone, even woods of the same species can sound different while having very similar characteristics.

    I've always felt mahogany guitars sound like they have loads of low-end, the midrange is a total crapshoot. I've had Les Pauls that sounded dead as a doornail. Personally I'm an alder/maple guy, I just prefer how it sounds. Plus I have bass guitars/bassists to take care of the low end.

    I'd also say that guitars with mahogany bodies and maple necks almost never sound right to me. My Broderick Pro 7 is the only guitar I have left in that configuration. Luckily the EMGs do a good job in tidying up the sound overall, but still that configuration just isn't right to me.
     
  7. ThomasVB

    ThomasVB SS.org Regular

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    I actually recorded all my active pickups in the bridge position and thought oh what the heck, maybe I should just A/B compare all of them in multiple video's.
    So I exported a bunch of video's, comparing two pickups in one video every time.

    You can find all combinations on my channel.
    There are still a few that will be uploaded the next days.

    So I also did the 85 vs fluence alnico:


    Also just received the EMG 60A (alnico) that I've ordered a while ago.
    It's not as tight as an 81 or 57 in the bridge position but might be a great alternative for an 85 in the neck.
    Will probably demo it soon in a video when I have some spare time.
     
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  8. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    I think I prefer the Fluence Alnico over the 85 in the bridge but I never liked the 85 so... well, in your vid. Playing, in real life, who knows...
     
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  9. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    from this demo, i can tell that pairing an EMG RPC knob, with an 85, would basically give you the classic. Would sound almost identical.
     
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  10. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    In the demos I've heard the Fluence Classic sound too nasal... Not what I like: I think a classic JB is better at that kind of sound.
     
  11. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    I used to have a stock EMG 81/85 set in my old B.C. Rich Virgin. Adding the 18 volt mod (to a mini-toggle for easy comparison) did something wonderful to the 81. It was still tight, but more controlled, as if the electronics in the pickup did not struggle to push the palm mutes as much.

    I eventually dropped that setup and refitted that guitar with an EMG 81x / 60x set with the SPC tone control. With the SPC all of the way down, the EMG 81x is so similar to the 81. The 81x sits between the 81 and 81 with the 18 volt mod in response, though it might be a hair lower volume. The 60x is just more crisp to me than the 85 ever was. The SPC circuit is such a massive mid boost. That is one guitar that needs no overdrive or boost pedals for full saturation. I typically have to keep the SPC at about half when playing through any of my amps.

    Between the 57 and 81, that video was great. The 81 has just a bit of a mid quack, that cocked-wah sound on the guitar-only mix. That is typically going to give so much cut for leads and high-gain rhythms though. The 57 sounded great too, similar, just without that spike in the upper mids.

    Nice video!
     
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